Andrew Cuomo and the Estranged Left

cuomo2Andrew Cuomo, today being re-elected Governor of New York, is admired, feared, respected, hated. In his recent book, All Things Possible, Cuomo writes:

At the end of your career, the only thing that matters is the lasting effect of your actions. Otherwise, what’s the point? You have to be willing to incur opposition if you actually want to get something meaningful done. All the difficult issues are controversial, by definition. But that’s the point of public service and what separates the statesmen from the journeymen in my opinion.

There is no reason to believe this is just idle rhetoric from a future presidential candidate. Coming in the context of eulogizing the political career of a Westchester County executive who helped him early in his career, this statement both reflects and attempts to justify Cuomo’s well-known ruthlessness. And hey, what’s wrong with being ruthless when it’s the only way to get the job done (especially in Albany)? “Be realistic—you can’t please everyone on your way to getting shit done.” That seems to be the motif of All Things Possible and the motto that drives Cuomo’s career. Keep reading →

Cuomo’s Casinos: Bad Politics, Bad Economics

cuomoGovernor Andrew Cuomo has put himself in a no-win position. He has embraced the clamor for upstate casinos and the promise of the slot machine as a means of economic development in the state’s depressed regions. Casinos played a prominent role in the development plan he unveiled in his otherwise outstanding 2013 State of the State address. Compounding that error, Cuomo recently declared that he wants to keep politics out of the process of deciding where the casinos will go.

If the plan to sprinkle casinos across upstate New York proceeds, it will be a black mark on Cuomo’s resume. Casinos represent only a mirage of growth. And there is absolutely no way politics can—or should—be removed from the planning process. Keep reading →